Courtesy National Weather Service

Days like today are a stark reminder that Louisville is an urban heat island. Heat indices will be above 100 for the next few days. Just a few minutes outside is enough to make you want to take a long, cold shower or a dip in the pool.

The city of Louisville is lowering prices on admission to city pools so you can do just that. Metro Parks announced today that admission would be $1 for children and $2 for adults at all city pools for the rest of the season and that the Parks Department might keep one pool open past the season if the extreme heat continues.

If the pools are too crowded, don’t forget about the park system’s many spraygrounds, which are free.

Metro Government advises people to seek out air-conditioned places like malls, community centers and libraries and not to rely solely on a fan for comfort.

The Coalition for the Homeless coordinates Operation White Flag when the temperature or heat index is 95 or higher. Five shelters – St. Vincent de Paul (1034 S. Jackson St.); Salvation Army Center of Hope (911 S. Brook St.); St. John Center (700 E. Muhammad Ali Blvd.); and Wayside Christian Mission (432 E. Jefferson St.) – allow homeless people to remain inside during White Flag events. Anyone who needs a bed or place to sleep overnight can also call the bed reservation line at 502-637-2337, between the hours of 10 a.m. -2 p.m.

City health officials urge individuals not to wait until they are thirsty to drink, and those spending time outdoors should be drinking two to four cups of water an hour. As appealing as a nice, cool cocktail might be, it’s probably better to avoid it. Alcohol and sugary drinks impede hydration.

Check on friends and neighbors who have no air conditioning and also check on the elderly to make sure they are staying cool and hydrated.

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be very dangerous. If you or someone you know becomes disoriented or cannot cool down after being exposed to the heat, seek medical attention immediately.

Stay cool, Louisville.